Drunkenness
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Proverbs, chapter 20. Let us ask God to help us as we study His Word:

Our Father, we are grateful for the privilege that is ours of studying the Word, recognizing that many dear ones scattered about the world do not have this opportunity. We confess, dear Lord, our need of Thee and ask that the Spirit of God will so minister the Word that enlightened hearts will be able to receive it. We pray that we will be able to present the truths which You have brought to our attention in such a fashion that they can be applied to our individual lives. Meet every need, we pray, this hour. In Jesus' name. Amen.

We are studying the second division of the book of Proverbs, which is referred to as The Personal Proverbs of Solomon . The manner in which the proverbs are presented makes it difficult for us to study the Word verse-by-verse, so from time-to-time we have selected certain principles of truth and have gathered around those principles all the proverbs which are related to them.

There are 375 proverbs in this particular section. We have considered them as they have been related to various principles of spiritual truth, with the exception of a few. These few proverbs are individually presented, so that they have been referred to for a long time by Bible scholars as special messages that the Spirit of God has been pleased to use from the lips of a great many men down through the years.

The one we have chosen to discuss now relates to the subject that used to be preached about once a year in many churches upon a Sunday that was called Temperance Sunday . The text we have chosen will deal with the subject of alcoholism, as we would refer to it today, drunkenness as the Bible refers to it. Because of such programs as Alcoholics Anonymous and various other ministries to people who are alcoholic, many of you are aware of the scientific facts related to alcoholism; but I have been amazed at the lack of knowledge of the Word of God on this subject when I have talked with individuals about it.

Alcoholism Related to Spiritual Need

I would like to remind our hearts that, as important as it is to recognize that alcoholism may indicate a physical need from the standpoint of disease, the Word of God has some very definite things to say about it from a spiritual standpoint. I have often said that alcoholics not only need physical treatment, but they need to recognize that they have a spiritual problem as well. I have suggested on the other hand that individuals who are dealing with alcoholics need to pray not only for a spiritual victory; they need to pray for healing as well because if alcoholics have been associated with intoxicating beverages for any length of time, they do have both problems.

Scriptural Summation of the Problem

I have used the term intoxicating beverages , but the Bible actually speaks of only three drinks. The market today is vying for the interest of people in a great many different kinds of drinks and in many different brands of intoxicating beverages. But the Bible speaks of wine; it speaks of strong drink; it speaks of mixed wine. Mixed wine is usually the product of adding spices to wine.

We find the summation of the whole problem in the first verse of Proverbs, chapter 20:

Proverbs 20:

1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

I would like for us to study together the summation of the entire subject of alcoholism as it is presented in the Word of God in this one verse because every truth is presented here as in a nutshell, as in seed form. We will examine it in a more amplified fashion after we leave this verse, but we want you to get this verse clearly fixed in your minds.

Let us notice the word wine to begin with, and settle once and for all that what we are talking about is an intoxicating beverage. The word wine here is a translation of the Hebrew word yah-yin , which means “fermented wine.” There can be no question in anybody's mind as to what the Spirit of God had in mind when these words were written. He is talking about the intoxicating beverage of the day. And since the Bible deals with principles as well as with facts, He is laying down a principle about intoxicating beverages in this verse. The other reference He makes in the verse is to strong drink , a translation of the Hebrew word shay-kawr , which means “an intense alcoholic drink.” There is no indication in the Word, and Bible dictionaries provide no light, as to what drink this was, but it was some kind of intoxicating beverage other than fermented wine. Those two things are mentioned in the text: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Effects of Intoxicating Beverage

Having called the intoxicating beverages to our attention, the Spirit of God brings to our attention some of the effects of imbibing these drinks. You will notice that wine is a mocker. The word mocker is a translation of the Hebrew word loots , which means very literally “to make mouths at,” “to make fun of,” as children make faces at other children when they want to tease them or hurt their feelings, or as individuals make grimaces when they are displeased. This word indicates that the individual who imbibes any kind of alcoholic beverage can expect to be mocked. Of course, the proverbial drunkard who is laughed at by individuals who should know better comes into mind at this time. Any of you who have been around inebriated people know that sometimes they make themselves ridiculous. Of course, they have nobody but themselves to blame for imbibing the liquor.

Our text says that strong drink is raging. The words strong drink are a translation of the Hebrew word haw-maw , which means “to be agitated.” It speaks of an agitation that is aroused in the individual because of the drink of which he has partaken. All of the agitation that is created by drunken people comes to our minds immediately. Men who are under the influence of alcohol will beat their wives, break up their furniture, harm their children. When they are in their right minds, not under the control of alcohol, they would whip anybody who would dare to do what they did while they were under the control of the intoxicating beverage. You see why the Spirit of God says that anybody who is deceived by alcohol is not wise.

The word deceived is a translation of the Hebrew word shaw-gaw , and immediately we know that it means more than being fooled by it, because really, not too many people are deceived by the use of alcohol. The users of alcohol pretty well know what the outcome will be. They are not deluded. Sometimes they do fool themselves into thinking they will be better off if they partake than if they don't. But I think it is interesting that the Holy Spirit has been pleased to use this particular Hebrew word because of the three meanings of the word which are found elsewhere in the Scriptures.

Drunkenness a Sin

One of the meanings is transgress . I would like to emphasize that. I would like to emphasize to you in all love and understanding that drunkenness is a sin. The reason I want to emphasize it is that I have attended meetings of groups that are trying to help people who are addicted to alcohol, and one of the things they say is that drinking or alcoholism is not a sin; it is a sickness. I believe it can be a sickness. But I believe on the authority of the Word of God, who cannot deny His Word, that drunkenness is a transgression of the revealed will and purpose and plan of God. There is no way to get around that. The individual who transgresses by drinking wine and strong drink is not a wise person. We have become very familiar with the word wise and its counterpart, the word wisdom , in our study of the book of Proverbs. We recognize that there are two kinds of wisdom—earthly and heavenly; the individual who transgresses by drinking wine and strong drink is not imbued with heavenly wisdom.

The word shaw-haw is also translated “reel,” which suggests the kind of walk for which drunkards are noted. For that reason the New American Standard version of the Scriptures uses the word intoxicated . It renders the verse:

Proverbs 20:

1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is intoxicated by wine and by strong drink is not wise.

I suggest that the words which we have just read represent the summation of the problem of alcoholism as it is presented in God's Word. But we don't want to stop with merely the summation. We want to look at the detailed effects of this alcoholism in the paragraph which begins with verse 29 in chapter 23:

Proverbs 23:

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Social Effects of Alcoholism

The detailed effects of alcoholism are presented in this paragraph from a number of different standpoints. I would suggest that we notice, first, how these detailed effects are presented from a social standpoint. Notice with me again the words of verse 29:

Proverbs 23:

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

The reason I refer to these effects as social is that as a rule these sorrows are caused by the association of the drunkard—using the Bible term—with other people. Let us notice the word woe . It is a translation of the Hebrew word o-ee , and it means “unfulfilled desire.” Liquor has a way of stirring up in the hearts of men and in the wheel (course) of nature, as James speaks of it (James 3:6), desires which are insatiable, desires which are unfulfilled and which seemingly can never be fulfilled. That is one of the problems created by alcohol; the desires which are not fulfilled lead the individual to take another drink to curb the intense thirst for the desires which the alcohol has created. We remind you that these unfulfilled desires are not related exclusively to liquor. They are those desires of our Adamic natures which sometimes lie latent for most of an individual's life, unless they are stirred up by the wine which the individual drinks.

Poverty a Result of Alcoholism

Another word in verse 29 is sorrow . It is a translation of the Hebrew word ab-o-ee , which elsewhere in the Scripture is translated “want.” Even though people who are under the influence of liquor cry a lot, we do not think about that kind of sorrow when this particular word is used. We think, rather, of the kind of want that is described in chapter 23 of the book of Proverbs. Notice verse 21:

Proverbs 23:

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

We are interested in only the first part of the proverb: “The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty.” You may know a few individuals who are not at that point yet, but mark what I tell you: If they continue until they become a slave to alcohol, they will be at that state eventually because God's Word says this is characteristic of the man who tarries long at the wine.

Contentions and Babblings of the Alcoholic

Another word in verse 29 to be emphasized is contentions : “Who hath woe; who hath sorrow; who hath contentions?” The word contentions is a translation of the Hebrew word mid-yawn , which may be translated “quarrel.” There is nothing wrong with the word contentions , but quarrels is more familiar to most of us. It does include the idea of physical fighting, which often goes along with the intoxicated condition of those who tarry long at the wine. They get themselves into all kinds of fusses and fights.

Another word in the text is babbling , a translation of the Hebrew word see-akh , which means “to talk to oneself.” Oftentimes you see an individual under the influence of liquor doing exactly that—talking to himself, not making any sense at all; babbling is a good word for it.

There are a couple of other phrases in the verse that do not need any particular examination of the Hebrew text for clarity. There is “wounds without cause.” How many times has the drunkard come home with his head split open, and his wife, who has waited patiently at home for him says, “Dear, how did this happen?” He says, “I don't have the faintest idea. I don't know what happened.” And he doesn't. He doesn't know how it happened and he doesn't know when it happened. He has wounds without cause—wounds that he cannot explain.

Then there is a reference in the verse to another condition that we have listed under social conditions because it is evident to people—redness of eyes. The bloodshot eyes of the inebriated man are often recognizable even when precautions are taken to cover the breath; the bloodshot eyes of the man who has tarried long at the wine are very evident. Oftentimes this condition exists long after the individual has laid aside his addiction to intoxicating beverages.

Mental Effects of Alcoholism

As we think about our paragraph in Proverbs, chapter 23, we would like to notice another of the detailed effects of intoxicating beverages. This one I have designated as mental. There is a mental effect that is brought to our attention in this paragraph:

Proverbs 23:

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

Many folk look upon those words as merely figurative, symbolic language that should not be related to any specific effect of alcohol. But any of you who have dealt with alcoholics and who have seen them in a state of delirium tremens can understand why the Spirit of God chose these particular creatures to emphasize what may happen at the end of imbibing intoxicating beverages. I have dealt with many alcoholics, and I have been with them when they were in the throes of delirium tremens. It is a delirious trembling that comes over them, and they imagine snakes and adders and spiders and all kinds of crawling creatures crawling all over them. All the talking in the world that a person can do to assure them that there is no such thing going on is not convincing. There have been times when the only thing that would settle them would be another drink; this I have administered many times in the course of the years as medication prescribed by a physician.

Truly, the Holy Spirit chose wise words when He said, “At the last it biteth like a serpent and it stingeth like an adder.” You can amplify those symbolic words in many ways and be consistent with the Scripture; feel free to do it.

Passion Related to Drunkenness

There is another area in which the detailed effects of alcohol are presented, and I have labeled that the area of passion:

Proverbs 23:

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

This verse is a reference to the fact that liquor—intoxicating beverages—is related almost invariably to adultery, and adultery is related to alcoholic beverages. I am not suggesting that every man who tarries long at the wine will necessarily be guilty of adultery. But I am saying to you on the authority of the Word of God that the imbibing of intoxicating beverages stirs the passions of men, and they do behold strange women. Remember, a strange woman in the book of Proverbs is always a prostitute when it speaks of her literally. When it speaks of her symbolically, it means false religion; the context will always make clear what is in the mind of the Spirit of God. Here the strange woman is the adulteress. Here is a plain statement that alcoholic beverages stir up passions, and men begin to behold—the word behold here means “to look out for,” “to search out”—strange women and to utter perverse things.

Warped Perspective of the Alcoholic

There is another suggestion in the paragraph that we would draw to your attention as one of the detailed effects of alcoholism. I call it a warped perspective . Notice verse 34:

Proverbs 23:

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

There could not be two things any farther apart than those two. Imagine a man on board a sailing ship feeling one moment that he has been cast overboard and is in the midst of the sea, and the next moment feeling as if he is a lookout upon the top of the mast, ready to cry out, “Land, ho!” Here is a warped perspective that is the result of intoxicating beverages.

Turn, please, to chapter 31 of the book of Proverbs and notice a very practical emphasis upon this very same truth. Here we find the words which his mother taught King Lemuel when he was just a little child at her knee. She mentioned several things that he needed to know:

Proverbs 31:

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

Wine and strong drink are intoxicating beverages. Why is it that the rulers of the land should not be involved with intoxicating beverages? You find the answer in verse 5:

Proverbs 31:

5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

So intoxicating beverages warp the perspective of individuals. I have heard people say, and I have had them say it to me, “I can do a much better job after I have had a drink or two than I can before.” I have even had people tell me that they can drive their automobile with more caution with a drink under their belt than they could if they had not had it. The Bible does not bear that out. The Bible says that intoxicating beverages warp the perspective, and I do not believe there are any statistics on record from controlled experiments that would contradict what the Word of God has to say.

Insensibility of the Alcoholic

There is another effect, and I have characterized it as insensibility. Go back to Proverbs, chapter 23, with me and notice what happens to the man who tarries long at the wine:

Proverbs 23:

35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick…

“They have stricken me, and it did no damage at all.” Even though I said a few moments ago that the individual who is partaking of these intoxicating beverages may have wounds for which he has no explanation, it is an amazing thing how people who are under the influence of alcohol can do things and receive no hurt. If the same things were done when they were sober, they would have broken bones as a result. Oftentimes they can get into a fight and come out unscathed. If they went into that same fight sober, broken bones would be the result. Notice also:

Proverbs 23:

35…they have beaten me, and I felt it not…

This is why we refer to the insensibility that is brought on by alcoholic beverages—insensibility even to pain. That is why serious things so often happen because individuals tarry long at the wine.

Addiction to Alcoholic Beverages

There is one other of the detailed effects that I would bring to your attention; I call it addiction . I think that is a pretty good word. It is one of the sad things that result when individuals tarry long at the wine. They don't intend to become drunkards. I have never talked with a person who intended to become an alcoholic. Never. And I have talked with very few people who were willing to admit they were. But I have talked with multitudes of people who have fulfilled the last statement of verse 35, which reads:

Proverbs 23:

35 …when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

The correct rendering does not put a question there. It is a statement: “When I awake, I will seek it yet again.” And that happens. It matters not how many resolutions individuals make, how many faithful promises they make to their wives, or how many good efforts they put forth, there is somehow an addiction with which they cannot cope. As soon as they waken from one drunken stupor, oftentimes they seek it again; or if they waken in a state of sobriety, they find themselves off after it again by and by. That is why Alcoholics Anonymous, which has done a great deal to help alcoholics, suggests that they live their lives one day at a time: Don't count sobriety by months and by years; count it by days; don't plan on what will happen tomorrow.

I believe the child of God by the grace of God has more to draw upon than an alcoholic who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. I say that with all kindness, but I believe it is a fact.

Practicality of Biblical Prohibition

I believe in prohibition. Someone comes along and says, “It didn't work.” Well, that kind didn't. What I am talking about is Biblical prohibition. I believe in Biblical prohibition, and I believe that every child of God should be concerned about the prohibitions which are given in the Word of God in regard to this subject. I do not know whether we will ever have an era of prohibition again. Personally, I doubt the wisdom of it because I do not believe that you can legislate morals. I believe the only way you can change conditions is to change men. Beloved, every one of you should be concerned about the prohibitions which are given in the Word of God. The first one that I would call to your attention concerns the personal use of alcohol by individuals, whether the individual be a Christian or not. Notice verse 31:

Proverbs 23:

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

Various translations of this verse have been attempted, and all of them are unsatisfactory. The important words are look not . The problem of translation is not with those words; the problem seems to be with the rest of the verse: “When it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Some Bible scholars feel that these words refer to fermentation; you should not look upon wine when it is in the state, when it will create an intoxicated condition. Others feel that the words simply describe the attractiveness of the wine as it appears to the man who has developed a good taste for it. I don't think it is important which view you hold. But I do think it is very important that you notice the injunction in verse 31: “Look not upon wine.” This means to have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Social Drinking Prohibited

Turn with me, please, to the book of Galatians, chapter 5. What we have been reading is from the Old Testament, and some of you may be inclined to say, “But we are born-again individuals today. We are not under law. We are under grace. So there is nothing wrong with a Christian's taking a social drink. There is nothing wrong with a Christian's serving cocktails in his home. There is nothing wrong with an individual who is a believer having a little nip now and then just to be sociable.” We read in verse 18:

Galatians 5:

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law [immediately a warning is given:] .
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Wait just a moment. These words are addressed to believers; the suggestion is not that if you are a believer and envy somebody his new car, you will go to Hell; it is that if you are a believer and envy somebody his new car, you are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. You will notice in this passage of Scripture the word drunkenness. We are told in verse 19: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: …drunkenness.” Drunkenness is a work of the flesh. Notice along with this list what is found in verse 24:

Galatians 5:

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

That verse of Scripture says that a born-again believer will not walk in the flesh as a manner of life. He may slip and walk in the flesh, and he may revert to the flesh for certain periods of time, but he has crucified the flesh with the affections and the lusts thereof.

Beloved, I can say without fear of contradiction that if you tarry long at the wine, you are not walking in the Spirit of God. I can say that if you take a social drink and excuse it because you don't get drunk, you are looking upon the wine while it is attractive, the very thing that God said you should not do. You are walking in the flesh if you are doing such a thing as that.

I have always been interested in the fallacy of human reasoning. One day I was talking with some Christians who said to me, “We don't believe there is anything wrong with social drinking.” We turned to this passage of Scripture and they said, “Oh, that is drunkenness. We never get drunk when we have our social drinks. We never get drunk.” I said to the husband as we were discussing this question, “Do you ever loan your wife out for a little petting when you are out on these occasions? Do you ever loan your wife out for a little ‘making out' on these occasions?” The man became indignant, and he said, “Why, we are Christians.” I said, “I know you are. That is why I asked that.” Let us be sensible. Let us be practical. If you can take a little social drink and say it is all right because you don't get drunk, then you can loan your wife out for a little petting if they do not actually commit adultery. You could commit every one of the works of the flesh listed here similarly.

Would you go to one of these parties and get into a fist fight? Would you murder somebody? “No, of course not; I am not murdering him; I am just beating him up good.” If you hit him another time, he will be dead. Where are you going to stop? You see, Beloved, the prohibition that is Scriptural is, “Look not upon the wine while it is attractive.” That is by far the safest thing. You don't need to worry about hurting your influence because you refuse a cocktail at a social gathering. You are not called upon to say, “Just a moment before I refuse that cocktail. Get me a box; I want to make a speech.” You can just say that you don't care for it. If there is a reason asked, then you can give a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.

I had an experience such as that not long ago. Some of you may say, “What were you doing at a place like that?” Well, I get to a lot of places because I have to. A person offered me a mixed drink, and I said, “No, thank you. You are very kind, but I wouldn't care for it.” He came back a while later and said, “Are you an alcoholic?” He did not know me. I said, “No, I am not an alcoholic.” “Well, why won't you have this drink?” I said, “Do you really want to know, or are you just concerned about my being comfortable here?” “I really want to know.” I said, “I am a Christian, and I believe that that sort of thing is inconsistent with a Christian testimony.” This person said to me, “Why did you thank me for offering it to you, then?” I said, “Well, what did you want me to do—slap you? You were being polite. I was your guest.” He said, “I want to talk to you when I have time.” And, do you know, I had an opportunity to witness to that man on another day about why an individual who has received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior has no need of anything to keep him lifted up. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Drinking Prohibited for Church Leaders

I think there are some things that need to be emphasized along with these prohibitions. Another prohibition that you recognize in the Word of God is that intoxicating beverages are not for church leaders. When you have time, notice carefully what is recorded in I Timothy, chapter 3, verses 3-8, where we are told that the bishops (elders) and deacons should not be given to wine—wine and much wine. I don't know why there is a difference, unless maybe one has a greater temptation than the other. The whole point, Beloved, is that the leadership of the church ought not to have anything to do with intoxicating beverages.

When these words were written, the only leadership the church knew was elders (bishops) and deacons. That was all. But with the organizational system that we have now, there are many people who take an active part in the leadership of the church, and God says that any such people ought not to be partaking of intoxicating beverages. Because I am giving you the truth, I would say that if any Christian leader has any intoxicating beverage in his refrigerator or bar, he had better go home and pour it down the sink because God says that a Christian leader ought not to have anything to do with any of it.

For the Sake of Our Testimony

There is a third prohibition that is given. One reason that alcoholic beverages are prohibited is for the sake of your testimony. You should not partake for your testimony's sake. Some people say, and I have heard them say it, “I don't need to be concerned about my testimony; God can take care of it.” He will not take care of it if you won't live by His Word, Beloved. There is no way in the world that He will take care of it if you are going to violate His Word.

When you have time read I Peter, chapter 4, verses 3-5, and notice that the world expects far more of you than you expect of yourself. Have your unsaved companions decided that something funny has happened to you since you have been saved? Peter said they will. He said, “They will think it strange that you do not continue to run with them to the same excess of riot.” Yet I have had people tell me that they were Christians and their friends never found it out. It is a very strange thing if your life can be revolutionized and nobody know anything about it.

Paul emphasizes in Romans, chapter 14, verse 21, that he personally would eat no flesh nor drink wine nor do anything that would cause his brother to stumble. I don't think I will ever be able to be very nice to anybody who comes to me and says, “My drinking doesn't cause anybody to stumble.” When I say, “I don't think I will ever be able to be very nice,” what I mean is that I am afraid I will say, “You are a point-blank liar, because you can't drink without causing somebody to stumble.”

In the Light of the Lord's Return

There is one last thing that I would like to call to your attention: It should be prohibited in the light of the Lord's return. In Luke, chapter 21, verse 34, the Lord Jesus Christ said that among the things that would keep us from looking for His return would be surfeiting and drunkenness. Get involved in the use of alcoholic beverages and you won't be nearly as anxious for the Lord to come.

In the light of the Lord's return, Christians, let me ask you: Would you want the Lord to come and find you drunk? “Oh, no,” you say, “He would leave me.” No, He would not leave you. He is coming for His Body, and if He should leave part of His Body, even if it was drunk, it would be a rupture instead of a rapture. It is to be a rapture. He is going to take you, no matter in what condition you may be. But, my! Think about it. Would you want the Lord to come and find you in a drunken condition?

Providing Liquor for Others

I want to leave with you a word in regard to the social use of alcoholic beverages upon which we touched a moment ago. I have friends who tell me that they do not drink themselves, but for business reasons they keep liquor in their offices and in their homes. “I don't drink,” they say, “and my friends know I don't drink, but they expect me to have something for them when they come. I don't think there is anything wrong with that,” they say, “because I believe it is every man's personal responsibility to take it or to leave it alone.” That is not what God's Word says. Habakkuk, chapter 2, verse 15, says:

Habakkuk 2:

15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also…

Beloved, if you offer that business associate of yours a drink so you will get the contract, you will have to deal with God about it. He said, “You had better not do it.” If you have anything to do with the liquor business, you had better get out of it. You may not touch it, but if you make it easy for the man who uses it to get the bottle, God says woe to you. And as an old black preacher used to say years ago, “When God says ‘Woe' (Whoa), you had better stop, because He means business.”

Shall we bow our heads together for prayer:

Thank You, Father, for the ministry of the Word. Grant that the Holy Spirit will use it. We realize, our God, that if it were left to mortal man to minister the Word of God, there would be nothing but dust and ashes at the Judgment Seat of Christ. But we have tried to deliver the Word, and we ask the Holy Spirit to cause it to be received. For we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


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